Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Rituals (1977, Peter Carter)


Rituals is a low budget 1970s wilderness horror thriller that was definitely inspired by Deliverance. Yet it has it’s own style and is mostly effective although parts of the movie was the director trying too hard. The final act drags on a bit too much also. Still I liked this movie and I realized midway through that I’m a fan of wilderness horror movies as a sub-genre. Hal Holbrook leads a cast of lesser known actors as they struggle to escape from a killer pursuing them in the Canadian wilderness.

This movie has some great outdoor shots, and Peter Carter puts both the characters and the audience through the ringer. This was a decent enough flick that I only saw thanks to Shudder. I’m not surprised that Steven King is a fan of this movie as many of his stories feature people dealing with extreme situations. Be prepared when you head out into the middle of nowhere and expect crazy people to show up is the lesson I got out of this movie.

Horrorfest Presents: Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks (1974, Dick Randall)


First off no one is sure who directed Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks in the first place. Secondly, this movie is a weird mess that doesn’t work as a movie or a Frankenstein flick, which is too bad since the Hammer Studios Peter Cushing one ended that same year in 1974. This movie coasts on nudity, violence and goofy moments that don’t really work. Then the movie actually tries in the last act yet even manages to botch that to a certain degree.

Maybe I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to watch this, or perhaps I’ve seen better takes on the material and I couldn’t help but compare Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks to those. Either way, I don’t regret watching this flick even if it wasn’t a good movie, if only to continue my quest to view every Frankenstein movie ever made. I can’t help myself sometimes.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Blood (1973, Andy Milligan)


Blood is a really weird low budget 1970s horror flick that I’m not sure I liked or not. There are certain aspects that worked, and I didn’t hate the movie. Yet Andy Milligan veers between a vampire movie, a werewolf movie and even a killer plant movie. I think he would have benefited from cutting out some plot aspects.

I did laugh at the ending, which I think I was supposed to as I believe it was a nice joke. Some of the movie is really slow and most of the interesting moments only happen in the final act. I suppose you could do worse horror movie wise, and you could also do better. Blood has it’s goofy charms, I suppose.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Patrick (1978, Richard Franklin)


Great SpongeBob almost ruined my ability to enjoy a good cult movie. I keep hearing that stupid but funny “No this is Patrick!” scene the show did. Anyways Patrick is one of those not great, yet still good and solid horror movies I often end up watching. The movie could have used more violence however there is one scene that is rather electrifying, if you know what I mean after you watch this movie.

This flick also has a pretty good pool scene that is well shot and executed. If you build a drinking game everytime Susan Penhaligon’s Kathy says Patrick, you might get pleasantly drunk by the end of the movie. Maybe even before the final scene. Check this out for the early unexpected death scene, stay for the mind powers and a coma patient becoming obsessed with his nurse. The Australians sure have some wonderfully unusual horror movies.

Killing Them Loudly: Horrorfest 2021


10 Horror Movie Memes To Get You in The Mood For Halloween

This concludes Horrorfest 2021 which featured me watching 66 movies, the most I’ve ever seen in a three month span. I’m not sure I will do that again but you never know. See you all next year for Horrorfest 2022! 

July Viewings:

1. Vamp (1986, Vampires!), Arrow Films Video
2. Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th (2013, Jason Doc!), Shudder
3. Vampyres (1975, Lesbian Vamps), Shudder
4. Patrick (1978, Mind Powers!), Shudder
5. Child’s Play 2 (1990, CHUCKY!), Netflix Instant Viewing
6. Prevenge (2016, Slasher?), Shudder
7. Night Tide (1961, Mermaid), Shudder
8. The Queen of Black Magic (1981, Revenge!), Shudder
9. Here Comes Hell (2019, Demonic), Shudder
10. Frankenhooker (1990, Mad Scientist), Shudder
11. Def By Temptation (1990, Succubus), Shudder

August Viewings:

(1) 12. Black Roses (1988, Rock n roll is evil! Evil!), Shudder
(2) 13. Death Ship (1980, Nazi Boat!), Shudder
(3) 14. Don’t Panic (1989, Demonic), Shudder
(4) 15. The Whistler (2019, Fairy Tales Are Real), Shudder
(5) 16. Tigers Are Not Afraid (2019, Ghosts), Shudder
(6) 17. Turkey Shoot (1982, Dystopia), Shudder
(7) 18. Dave Made a Maze (2017, Dangerous Cardboard!), Shudder
(8) 19. Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker (1981, Crazy Aunt), Shudder
(9) 20. White of the Eye (1988, Slasher), Shudder
(10) 21. Lisa and the Devil (1973, Telly Savalas is the Devil!), Shudder
(11) 22. Shock (1977, Ghost Possession), Shudder
(12) 23. Messiah of Evil (1973, Undead cult!), Shudder

September Viewings:

(1) 24. Vicious Fun (2020, Slasher Support Group), Shudder
(2) 25. Mortuary (1983, Embalmed), Shudder
(3) 26. Hellmaster (1992, JOHN SAXON), Shudder
(4) 27. The Dead Pit (1989, Like a Surgeon), Shudder
(5) 28. The Pale Door (2020, Witches and Cowboys), Shudder
(6) 29. Chillerama (2011, Anthology), Tubi
(7) 30. Mohawk (2017, Revenge!), Shudder
(8) 31. The Brain Eaters (1958, Parasites!), Tubi
(9) 32. Death Curse of Tartu (1966, Tartu), Tubi
(10) 33. Sting of Death (1966, Killer Jellyfish), Tubi
(11) 34. Blood Quantum (2020, Zombies), Shudder
(12) 35. I Bury the Living (1958, Cemetery business), Tubi
(13) 36. Candyman (2021, I’m not saying it), Theater Viewing
(14) 37. Head Count (2019, Mythical Creature Thing), Shudder
(15) 38. Found Footage 3D (2016, Meta), Shudder
(16) 39. Color Out of Space (2020, Aliens! Sort of), Shudder
(17) 40. Shakma (1990, Killer Ape), Shudder
(18) 41. Malignant (2021, GABRIEL), Theater Viewing

October Viewings:

(1) 42. The Church (1989, Man Is Evil), Tubi
(2) 43. Blood (1973, Monster Mash), Tubi
(3) 44. Cannibal Ferox (1981, Savage), Shudder
(4) 45. Sorority House Massacre (1986, Slasher Flashback), Shudder
(5) 46. Pledge Night (1990, Acid Sid), Shudder
(6) 47. WNUF Halloween Special (2013, NEWS AT 11), Shudder
(7) 48. Vampires vs. the Bronx (2020, Gentrification Sucks!), Netflix Instant Viewing
(8) 49. One Dark Night (1983, Raymar!), Tubi
(9) 50. Doom Asylum (1988, Power Tools), Tubi
(10) 51. Hannah, Queen of the Vampires aka Crypt of the Living Dead (1973, Undead Undead), Tubi
(11) 52. Death By Invitation (1971, She’ll have her revenge!), Tubi
(12) 53. Two Thousand Maniacs! (1964, The South Will Kill Again), Tubi
(13) 54. Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks (1974, The Monster!), Tubi
(14) 55. The Convent (2000, Satanic Nuns), Tubi
(15) 56. Demonia (1990, EVIL!), Tubi
(16) 57. Psycho Goreman (2020, ALIENS), Shudder
(17) 58. The Descent (2005, Underground Monsters), Tubi
(18) 59. Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman (2000, Snowman In The Tropics), Tubi/Crackle
(19) 60. Habit (1997, Indie Vampires), Shudder
(20) 61. Halloween Kills (2021, EVIL DIES TONIGHT), Theater Viewing
(21) 62. Rituals (1977, Into the Woods), Shudder
(22) 63. Just Before Dawn (1981, Don’t Go In The Woods), Shudder
(23) 64. The House That Screamed (1969, Serrador), Shudder

Coda:

65. V/H/S/94 (2021, Tjahjanto, Barrett), Shudder

66. Last Night In Soho (2021, Wright), Movie Theater Viewing

Horrorfest 2020 Presents: Baron Blood (1972, Mario Bava)


While I like Mario Bava’s films a good deal Baron Blood was disappointing. Joseph Cotton and company do their best to elevate really flimsy material that is way too dependent on gory torture scenes. The film also takes much too long to become interesting, and I felt a lot of the film is a drag. This might be the first one I’ve seen from Bava that I have no desire to revisit, which is a shame.

The movie is not a complete waste, as the sets were neat and I liked several well framed shots. The ending is brutal as well, which does help and there is a scene that is quite suspenseful. I just expected more from a movie with a plot this ridiculous. Oh well. I’ll still try and check out more from Bava anyways, despite not having many of his famous films left to watch.

Horrorfest 2020 Presents: Moon of the Wolf (1972, Daniel Petrie)


Look I know this was a TV movie yet Moon of the Wolf still comes across as a mess. The main problem is not enough werewolf moments for a movie with that literal of a title. I did not hate it however since the mystery elements are a tad interesting, and I did like that the movie tries to be a serious werewolf movie. However the low budget is a clear limitation that the film does not overcome.

The actual werewolf parts were neat, though, and the last act makes a sizable effort to be scary and suspenseful. I wonder if maybe a restoration of the original negatives would help, and I think this is one of those films that would benefit from a modern remake. Stop groaning already, you know I’m right.

Horrorfest 2020 Presents: The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh (1971, Sergio Martino)


Edwige Fenech certainly was a talented horror actress, appearing in many giallos. She is quite good in the entertaining film The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh, a movie where a woman is being stalked by a crazed killer. There is a limited number of suspects naturally since this is a giallo, and yet I did not figure out the mystery early which is nice. Some parts of this movie work better as an erotic drama or thriller than a horror movie.

However there are plenty of great horror moments scattered through the movie. The garden scene is a prime example of classic freaky giallo murder terror, proving to be most shocking. I also liked how the film lures the viewer into a false sense of security just before leaping up to grab their attention. Even though this flick isn’t quite as good as some of other giallos, I did really enjoy it. I hope to view even more of both Fenech and Sergio Martino’s movies at some point.

Horrorfest 2020 Presents: The Amityville Horror (1979, Stuart Rosenberg)


I haven’t read the book or looked into the story itself, yet regardless The Amityville Horror is a well made and creepy haunted house movie from the golden age of horror. Despite being made at the end of the decade it is still a classic and features many hallmarks of that cinema period. The cast for this is great, too, with James Brolin, Margot Kidder, Rod Steiger and even Murray Hamilton. This helps to sell some of the movie’s more outrageous moments.

I’m reminded of The Omen where the fantastic is based in enough realism for it to be plausible. Brolin and Kidder have good chemistry together and Steiger adds gravitas as the priest who tries to bless their home. I liked how the film used quiet moments to lure the viewer into a false sense of calm, particularly right before some weird or frightening happens.

Even though I feel this movie is a tad dated, I still really liked it. The Amityville Horror is considered one of the essential US horror films for good reason, and it helped to establish numerous genre cliches. I heard that the sequels are insane and this I must see them, too. Oh and I loved the house that was the film’s setting-that massive old thing was a character all on its own.

Horrorfest 2020 Presents: Squirm (1976, Jeff Lieberman)


The killer animals movie Squirm is goofy, silly, and yet watchable in that kind of 1970s cult movie charm that works. Is it a good movie? Nah but it is a decent one featuring likable people and some hilarious lines such as “Now you’re gonna be the worm face!” The killer worm death scenes are actually gross, too, which helps even though this movie definitely could have used more gore and worm violence.

A storm causes worms to go crazy and murder people, or something. The plot is not important here. Plus you have one guy going crazy after getting worms in his face, which I guess would drive anyone nuts. I do want to watch the MST3K skewering of this flick, just because I bet the jokes are fun. I miss environmentally based killer animal movies-they just don’t make them like they used to anymore.

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